Tyrannosaurus rex jaw leads Bonhams Natural History auction

. May 24, 2013

A Tyrannosaurus rex maxilla (upper jaw) from Montana achieved the top-selling spot in Bonhams auction of Natural History, May 22 in Los Angeles. The maxilla, featuring seven teeth – with five mature teeth and two emerging teeth seen, sold well within its $70,000-90,000 estimate, bringing $86,500.

Highlights of the 145-lot sale went on to include a rare and exceptional jurassic crocodile of Poseidon Shale, Holzmaden, Germany, which brought $84,100 and a gigantic Megalodon teeth in jaw reconstruction, whose deep ocean teeth were primarily found at Offshore Cape Fear, Wilmington, North Carolina, which achieved $74,500 – surpassing a $50,000-60,000 estimate.

Also notable in the auction was an immense dinosaur specimen from a recently discovered undescribed species, comprising a mounted femur, tibia, fibula and foot, Diplodocus sp., possibly Amphicoelias, from the Morrison Formation, Wyoming, that brought $31,350; and a research quality cast replica of the Tyrannosaurus rex skull of “Duffy,” discovered by Stan Sacrison in 1993, from Hell Creek Formation, Harding County, South Dakota, that realized $13,750, past a $7,000-9,000 estimate.

A selection of fossils also sold impressively in the sale. From the Green River Formation, Lincoln County, Wyoming, was a rare Palm Frond mural that sold for $43,750; a Palm Flower Mural, prepared in high relief and seen with three fossil fish specimens, that realized $18,750; and an incomparable Palm Flower Part and Counterpart, in “positive/negative” presentation, that fetched $21,250, topping its $15,000-20,000 estimate. Additional notable fossils on offer included a 100-million-year-old Rhombopterygia Guitar Fish from Hgula, Byblos, Lebanon – thought to be the largest of its species ever discovered – that brought $17,500; and a Jurassic Sea Lily fossil of Holzmaden, Germany, in an attractive vertical presentation on the rich gray-black matrix of the famous locality from which it originated, that sold for $16,250.

Tom Lindgren, Co-Consulting Director of Natural History at Bonhams, commented, “I am pleased with the continued and growing interest that surrounds important fossil specimens.”

Ammonites of note in the auction included a 101-million-year-old, exceptionally large, Colossal Texas Ammonite, from Duck Creek Formation, Texas, that brought $32,500 and a 71-million-year-old, Canadian Ammonite in Matrix from Bearpaw Formation, Alberta, Canada, displaying brilliant red and golden coloration, that took in $17,500.

The next auction of Natural History at Bonhams is scheduled to take place November 19. For more information, please visit www.bonhams.com

Category: Antiques

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